Friday, February 22, 2013

SPOOKY NOOK by Robert Swartwood_Review

Review of Spooky Nook by Robert Swartwood
5 stars

“Spooky Nook” is a shorter prequel to Mr. Smartwood’s novel “The Calling.” This was the first I had read by this author, and I immediately went to “The Calling” as soon as I finished this. Despite the shorter framework used here, the author manages to present a fully-fleshed out drama, good characterizations, very unexpected plot twists (I’m thinking of a snake with diagonal stripes rolling over and over in place—now you see the stripe, now you don’t), and a clever and engrossing denouement. All that doesn’t even include the Supernatural-or perhaps, preternatural-overtones.

Writer Keith has been in total creative limbo since the disappearance of his wife eight months earlier. Law enforcement has no clues, and all Keith knows is that the heart and soul have gone out of him. Then late one evening at a Chinese restaurant, an elderly lady appears, announcing she is his long-forgotten first-grade teacher—and she asks him to drive her to Maine. That’s just the beginning, as Keith and “Anna” head out on a journey that is in a way more of a Vision Quest than it is a trip to a Stephen King autographing session. Readers who love horror, the Supernatural, finely-tuned mysteries, and excellent writing need to snatch up “Spooky Nook.” (Just wait till you discover the meaning of the title term!)

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